In response to Irish philosopher Richard Kearney’s recent proposal of a post-metaphysical re-imagination of God, the thesis asks how we may begin to reimagine the Christ-event, post-metaphysically. Specifically, it investigates the implications of such post-metaphysical thought for the theological categories of hamartiology and soteriology.
Methodologically, the thesis proceeds from hermeneutical re-readings of biblical narratives and traditions. Via an archaeology of the biblical yetser, the concept of imagination is offered as a way to re-imagine sin and salvation. The Eden narrative is read within its ancient Near Eastern context, and the narratives of the Annunciation and Transfiguration also receives special mention, as well as the window that Song of Songs opens on the metaphor of the desire of God.
What results from this approach is, first, yet another deconstruction of the Augustinian formulation of original sin, as well as an eschatological reinterpretation of the Christ event in terms of the messianic Kingdom of God. Christ, who submits his yetser to the will of the Father in an act of worshipful surrender, becomes the perfect embodiment of the Word of God to a humanity whose yetser is perpetually put in service of itself in an act of idolatry. The enabling of the Kingdom of God in Jesus, who embodies the human telos, captures the human imagination and transfigures humanity through the existential experience of transcendence which breaks into its concrete reality through the Christ-event and its retelling. In this way, realised eschatology is possibilised through the imagination. Christ as prototype of the divinely intended telos of humanity becomes an existential possibility via the transfiguration, enacted by the imagination. This enables humanity to become co-creators with God of a new creation, symbolised by God’s messianic Kingdom of love and justice.